Friday Six-Pack: Bears at Niners 2012

Critical Games-The home loss to the Texans by seven points while the defense again did everything it could was frustrating. But being an inter-conference game, it was the best game the Bears could have lost. However, it was only the second game in 2012 against top NFL competition, and as we all know the Bears have lost both. With the Bears only leading Green Bay and Minnesota by a game, now every game remaining is a critical must-win. In fairness, Lovie Smith’s teams have won their share of critical games, but there have been critical losses as well. On Monday I’ll write a post evaluating Smith’s team’s performances in critical situations.

Parity-Of course we all expect our Chicago Bears to win every game and we’re extremely disappointed when they don’t. But for the record, I realize that the level of parity in the NFL is completely evident. In the 1980′s and 1990′s, teams such as the Cowboys and 49ers (ugh) dominated year after year once they had their Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and it was near impossible for other teams to pull even. At the present time, take the Packers, 49ers and Patriots for example. Green Bay and New England have Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but other areas of their game are lacking (defense, running game). In San Francisco they have a championship defense but a weaker quarterback and receivers. It is close to impossible to build a complete dynasty anymore. When we look at it, the Bears are strong in one area (defense) and weak in others (offense just can’t put it completely together) as any other team. And this is life in the NFL as we know it.

The Future-It will certainly be interesting to see where this concussion subject goes. Prior to the last five years or so, the other 87 years of the NFL contained so many plays when players got “dinged” or their “bells rung” that it is unbelievable in comparison now. How will the game of football move forward when concussions are so likely on any given play?

Our New Starter-Although it hasn’t been announced, I think it’s as clear as anything that Jay Cutler will not be playing on Monday Night in San Francisco. So what do you think of Jason Campbell’s chances? My concern lies with his performance on Sunday night in the second half, he was as aimless looking as Cutler has been when he has been “off” so many times in 2012. I am hoping this can be attributed to him going in cold to a game with no practice time. Campbell had better perform on Monday Night, or he’ll join a long line of miserable Bears backup quarterbacks that have failed when it mattered the most. Given Campbell’s solid if unspectacular seven-year career previous to this season, he should be able to manage games. If not, then I seriously question if the offensive line or coaching are more at fault.

Cutler’s Future-When Jay Cutler arrived via trade in 2009, I was so excited that the Bears had a bonafide star at the game’s most important position for the first time in my life. I wasn’t more sure of anything in my life than the fact that the Bears would be annual playoff participants. While Cutler has brought a greater degree of stability to the position than I had ever seen, as we all know it’s been a much more erratic 3 1/2 years than I ever expected. Cutler will be a free agent following the 2013 season. Never would I have thought that I’d question whether he should be a Bear for more than five years, but I am beginning to wonder. And the point may be moot until we see if Cutler can continue after at least his fourth concussion of his football career. Scary thought, I know. Much more on this later.

7 Responses to “Friday Six-Pack: Bears at Niners 2012”

  1. If cutler misses significant time http://bit.ly/UvSc2M, the bears season is over. Let me be clear, our defense is stout. They can score points. But if our primary option to take the field is jason Campbell, I just dont think there are enough check downs and RB out routes to take us to the Super Bowl.

    Thoughts?

  2. Skipping right to the last point: It is my belief that this organizations fatal error with Cutler was not providing more stability for HIM. For starters he hasn’t had any consistency with OC’s; there was no chance for him to settle into a system and remain there. Secondly, the skill positions around him, WR’s, TE’s, Line, etc, have for the most part, stunk. There have been way too many guys trotted in and out of the lineup over the last three years, Manumaleuna anyone? And yes, I had to copy and paste that.
    The Bears whole plan was to bring in a franchise QB and they gave him nothing to work with. I’m not trying to come off as a total Cutler apologist, the guy has obviously had his fair share of mistakes and melt downs on national TV, but I do wonder how much of that is because he’s felt like he’s the one that has to shoulder the whole load. The Martz years may have been the undoing. It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out, but I wouldn’t be at all surprise if the wheels fall off at this point.
    Cody: Agreed. In the modern NFL the days of a defense and RB carrying you to the promised land are over. You’ve got to have a passing game and it has to be better than average.

  3. Totally agree with Brad. Cutler has his faults but he is easily the best QB the Bears have had since I started watching US football in the 80′s.

    AND if the Bears let Cutler go who on earth would we get to replace him????? Answers on the back of a stamp!!!

  4. Roy, you are older than I am. How long did it take for the Bears to get a QB of Cutler’s caliber? Unless he physically can’t play football anymore, you re-sign him. He has played in only 50 games for the Bears. At the moment, he is alrady second in team history in completed passes and second in team history in TD passes. He needs less than 500 yards to become second in passing yards. We are talking about a franchise that has been around for 90 years. That’s how bad it’s been. Cutler is not perfect by any means, but some of the flack he gets is kind of pathetic. It’w worse than what Grossman got. I’m not saying Cutler is without his faults, but I’ve seen much lesser players got much more love in this city. And, that’s only because they kiss up to the cameras when they are rolling.

  5. I really enjoy your input guys, thanks! Hey “US Football Dave”-where are you from? (I don’t want to go to the trouble to look at where your IP address came from :) ).

    Ah yes JDM, seems I have dated myself :) . You’ve seen plenty too, but maybe the guys I got to see before you were Mike Phipps, Bob Avellini, Vince Evans. The point is not lost, believe me.

    The sole point is I had no idea that Cutler would turn out to be a “Rex Grossman Lite”. Granted the lows aren’t quite as low, and the highs are much higher. I do still wholeheartedly agree that Cutler is the franchise’s best quarterback since Sid Luckman, Johnny Lujack and Bobby Layne were on the team together in 1947. And JDM without question Cutler will own all of the Bears’ passing records in a year or two if he can continue to play.

    So no doubt, if he can play, re-sign Cutler, keep building the offensive line, and get a damn tight end that isn’t named Kellen Davis.

    Brad agreed, great points. Can you imagine what the Bears with Cutler may have looked like to this point with a real offensive line and multiple targets like Brandon Marshall? It has been a mess. Let’s hope offensively it’s up from here.

  6. It took this long to bring in a quality WR. #1 priority going forward is, LT, #2 is TE.

  7. I agree w/ Ron, Jay is the best QB Ive seen in the 43 years I have followed this team. I think Ron Emery will figure out how to stabilize the line and hopefully No 6 will have greater success.
    It wasn’t that long ago when we had Quinn, Krenzel, Hutchison, Stewart,Chandler, Burris, Matthew,Stenstrom, Moreno,Furrer, Peter Tom Willis…this is a passing league right now, hope Jay is the QB for a long time.

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